Friday, 29 April 2016

Museum Mission: Index

The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Index, is a new hall of arts in Stockholm. When I came to visit, the concept was this: once a week, an art student or an artist presents the same exhibition, by Stephen Willats, from his or hers point of view. This means it is unique every time! And can be revisited over and over and seen with fresh eyes.
We were few at the guided tour, which enabled us to discuss what we too saw in the art presented.
And the art does not end with the walls of the hall; it bubbles over. Outsides, it continues - more obvious like this sign (that is not meant to look too professional, the artist insisted!) but also spread out in town (there is a map if one wants to trace it down), sometimes not at all obvious. What definitely is not obvious is that this lady lives in one of the adjacent buildings! That takes the art to a new dimension in a way: among us, close to us, more closer than we know. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

And suddenly, a poem

Unexpectedly, a letter from a nameless sender waited for me when I got home. It was to a big extent hand-crafted, which in itself contained clues. The butterfly alone means a big deal.
Six main clues and finally, I guessed who it was by writing "thank you for the poem" online. "How did you know it was me?" she asked back.

Well, that is the beauty of friends: you get to know them and create new memories together. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

"So now we've got teenage wizards. We've got vampire police."

"We've got a journalist's memoir, a designer'smanifesto, a celebrity chef's graphic novel."

In other words: Clay just started trying the bookshop he works at to get running, having new books attracting real customers, eventually making the shop not only being one of the bases for a secret foundation. Which this book is about.

Nice twist, right?
"Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan is a lot about twists, or rather portioned-out cliffhangers, but they only come in real-time (with a few references to the past) and all the characters introduced are used up cleverly. When Clay needs a hand, his handy house mate comes to mind, after having been presented before; so does a girl who works as a programmer at Google, who gave Clay her number when she popped by the store, and when they have to go to New York to solve a mystery, how convenient that we got to know Neel, a friend from sixth grade that now is a rich CEO. It is a good strategy - we become friends with Clay's friends much easier this way.

This is a modern book. Online pages are bookmarked, he updates with F5, slides od a presentation are present. Clay is unemployed at first, very down to earth, and is looking for a job. The boys do not get the girls, at least not all of them, and there is even room for a breakup. The language is chit-chatty and rich. Maybe this is how a computer game's story could look like in text.

Me recommend. For a daily distraction and recurring suspense, even so between two train stations. Will Clay, Neel, Kat and Mr. Penumbra find the source to eternal life? 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Museum Mission: H M konungens hovstall

 In the middle of the city, horse stables! Totally true.
 It is royal and is found between Armémuseum and Dramaten, where it has bwen since 1894. Normally, you would pass by and wonder vaguely what the dark castle-like brick building is but not pay it more attention. 
 There are exhibitions of horse powers (royal old cars) too.
But these cuties are the best. The left-hand horse is the newest and likes to play the most :)
Livgardet plays music in the exercise hall sometimes. 

Monday, 25 April 2016

An apple for your thoughts

Here I write down ideas, projects and society revolving stuff. I can recommend the brand: Appeel, an Italian company that manages to make paper out of residuals and peel of Italian apples.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Culture night in Stockholm

 I now have a bear tattoo from the Finnish institute.
Silvia and I also took the back door in to the Italian institute, so to speak; we litterally had to climb through bushes as I misjudged the route a bit. "The road to the concert is as Italian bureaucracy", was my claim.
And I finally got to.visit the Royal horse stables. Soon on this blog in more detail!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Recently seen colours

White hair so white that it is blue.

Yellow spaghetti so yellow that it is a little bit green.

A day coloured as a shadow, with shadows.

The sparkling palette of joy.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

To-do list of communication

When we have not met for a while, we need to catch up on much.

So I text.

"Remind me to tell you about horse kisses."

"The castle."

"The unexpected modern language test, teenage vocabulary, which I passed!"

So she makes a list of discussion and adventure topics for later.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Being "on the other side"

My friend's sister had a blue eye: she had fallen, or gotten kicked by a horse. Something like that. She needed to support on her brother when walking for a while, as she could see less while the eye was healing. "Never have I felt so terrible as a guy", says N. "People would stare and think I had hit her."

They went to a bar. On her way to the restrooms, people would stop her and ask if she needed help. "You can leave him, you know." "You don't have to stay in the relationship."

Friday, 15 April 2016

Bye, Facebook.

Things I will miss out when quitting Facebook: call in the challenge to name Luc's new horror gallery plants.
Seeing the latest fun at Royals School of Technology (I was a member on the "quotes"-group).
Laughing, chuckling or smiling regularly...
...at modern aphorisms and quotes.
Geeky stuff without googling them. Good alternative source: interestingengineering.com.
Other witticisms.
I will just have to find news presented like this in some other way.

(Minor detail: we should have gone parted ways in December. I hope we will cut the relation altogether in April.)

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Small discovery about women in society by a man: true story

"I came to think of it, because of circumstances, that a man's marital status is never specified. But we call women "mrs" and "ms", as if that is important."

This took him about 40 years to discover. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

As summer is almost almost almost here,

let's have a look at my summerish outfit from June last year. Photos by David Härenstam.
This is all close to Monteliusvägen, where settings from the 18th and 19th centuries are usually filmed.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

"The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty

"To be opened in case of my death" is its Swedish title. Cecilia finds a letter her husband wrote, which she never was meant to find. SUSPENSION, and it stays that way till the end. What I did not like is how omniscient the author becomes all of a sudden in the last chapter. A complete change of style had fit better had this been made possible in other ways earlier. (Then the author knew about everything else - the past, characters's thoughts - and that was fine, because it was about the PAST.)

I wonder how we will regard bestsellers in two hundred years time. On this book's cover, it is, as customary, flashed that it was on New York Time's bestseller list for over 50 weeks. What is history's take on that? Maybe not a timeless classic, but definitely worth mentioning that there were many other to compete with, and in these times, it does not only mean authors.

I liked most of it, anyhow (except the end, which leaves a less impression but helped out on generating forgiveness): it kept me awake wanting to finish the read, a good sign. The styling, if not photoshopped (which cover is not), is a rose dipped in liquid nitrogen (it freezes almost instantly) and then stylishly crushed. Just as the lives of several people in the book: beautiful (at least to themselves and to others and successful) and then something sudden happens to each that turn things around. I like the moral and consequences vaguely discussed in internal monologues in a modern setting (timeline is: now). And how the lives are interconnected. And that this is an Australian author, not American. I once intended to have read, and being able to name, two authors from every country in the world. This will not be author number three, after Bryce Courtenay and Colleen McCullough.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Just a BIG paranthesis in the paper-computer debate

"We can write it all on computers and don't have to waste paper."

WAIT.

It is MUCH more resources-consuming to produce any computer or similar device, and use it for writing, than it is to produce paper, and use it for writing. How computers connect people and how powerful that such is a different discussion, but you can always write on a piece a of paper that you don't have to charge and log on to.

I fancy paper a great deal.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sticky cutie

It is not for me, though, but to sone one close. Maybe 12 cm in hight altogether, resembling a Christmas tree or perhaps a green star, it makes most hearts melt. Even if you already have three of them.
And you can not fail to not kill it. Just put it in the sun, water every second week and when it gets obviously too big, replant. 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Themes for a more fun/deepened reading experience

A book is written as a dialogue between the author(s) the reader's wit. With few of us contacting the author, his/hers editor or cover designer for further discussion, let's make reading more fun. Each bullet point may be (dis)connected (from) to the other.
- stop reading at a cliffhanger. Write down three descriptions of what you think will happen next and why, and which you want to happen the most, and why
- for at least three books in a row, only borrow/buy those with a yellow cover (do you see a connection between themes, like, tend only sports books from 2015 be dyed like this?)
- and then only blue
- in the middle, introduce a new character with qualities that would change the plot considerably, and that would make the reader (not necessarily you, it can be a friend) understand the other characters' actions better (best done to books you did not fancy, or fancied a lot and have read it over and over)
- pretend you would have torn out five pages here, two here. How does that change the story? Which did you choose to eliminate?
- make two major or minor actions change places. If it did not significantly change the story, did it add to the elegancy of the style?
- rewrite the end, or the beginning, or both (does not have to be long, some crucial points could suffice)
- swap endings between two similar books (for more coherence), or (to make it more fun) with books of different genres (say, sci-fi meeting Romanticism from the 1800's)
- exchange the leading female character with a divorced widowed father of two
- change the title to something more suitable and catchy (probably most fun with thrillers)
- style the cover differently (I intended to do so with Ford's "Canada" for over two years now)

Friday, 8 April 2016

"Intreview" with friends

What will you be like when you are fifty? 
- Just like this, but fifty.

What makes you happy? 
- Chocolate. Always.
- The moment.
- Mountains, it makes me understand how small I am in this world.
- This kind of question.
- Experiencing new things.
- You.




Thursday, 7 April 2016

Storm of liquid gold

It is "everyone's" favourite. Can be used on the entire body - and, this rarely happens - this company's main office is in my neighborhood. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Stockholm, recently

(I am to the left, full-scale.)
 Countdown to Euro vision song contest.
Sun indoors at Nordiska kompaniet.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Entirely free to do a PhD

Nick, a friend, had a teacher at high school. The teacher had a hobby - doing research. So he did for ten years. And submitted his work, an invention. And passed. And got a PhD title. Without attending a university during the research period.

Because that is what research is all about! Finding solutions to problems, or coin new theories, make new inventions and discoveries.

In Spain and France, everybody can do a PhD - but there is not always funding for that. In Sweden, for comparison, one has to have a position at a university for eventually becoming a PhD. Everybody is funded, often with an actual salary and not the minimum refunding that can be offered during the first tworld years before you HAVE to get an actual salary with all its benefits (pension, vacation rights, etc) - but that happens too. As a PhD student, you are somewhere inbetween student and staff, but with an office, serious treatment, and you can teach at university courses in your field.

But how can you do research without funding (a salary)? The Spanish and French systems mau open up welcoming doors, but maybe not wide enough. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Old-fashioned communication

When the artist couple would not answer the phone, had paused the Facebook account and are known to have an on-off relationship with time and space, the only option left was to wave for them to see (they live in an apartment across). 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Museum Mission: Armémuseum

For free, with a blog on how exhibitions are made, seminars, a temporary theme called "knitting for peace" and a vast yard with cannons and warfare trucks - voilà, Armémuseum!
There are three floors, which are recommended to visit from the top and down. Starting with quotes on the horror of war, screaming monkeys frozen in the act of a deadly fight continuing with war trophies and scenes from the war and everyday lives throughout different centuries.
Some figures are very credible.
And of course there are shiny (and not) uniforms, weaponry, and touchscreens with information about plundered ("won") items. Some countries refuse till this day to return what is not theirs and hAve ithe dis played in...museums. Looting is forbidden since many years ago.
Remarkable is that those who did not fight, dropped the gonfalon (or left it on the field to run for their lives) were punished with death. It really is a no win-no win situation. 
 Easy it was not.
 Courier mail.
I am not sure - gun power or tea?
 When in doubt who was the ruler - look at the coins.
Randomly, this is the museum I have been to the most times. And never gets boring.